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Seventy-Five Years of Service 


The Woman's Auxiliary 


The Diocese of North Carolina 

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Seventy-Five Years of Service 


The Woman's Auxiliary 


The Diocese of North CaroKna 


This History was written and read by Mrs. Henry 
C. Bourne on the occasion of the Seventy-fifth Annual 
Meeting of the Woman's Auxihary of the Diocese of 
North Carohna, in session in Calvary Church, Tarboro, 
North Carolina, April 30, 1957. 

The Woman's Auxiliary 


In a review of seventy-five years of service of the 
Woman's Auxiliary of the Diocese of North Carolina, it 
is fitting for us to dwell on these words from the Epistle 
to the Hebrews: 

And these all having obtained a good report 
through jaith, received not the promise: God hav- 
ing provided some better thing for us, that they 
without us should not be made perfect. 
This passage speaks to us of the progressive develop- 
ment of God's goodness and love, and His increasing 
revelation of Himself as age succeeds age in His dealings 
with men. We read the' records of seventy-five years 
and we are touched by admiration and respect for the 
work of those who have gone before us. Yet they 
without us shall not be made perfect. Their work must 
be fulfilled in us. We pay tribute to them and grate- 
fully recognize the fact that we add something to them 
in carrying on their work. 

In 1881 when the Diocese of North Carolina was 
the whole area of the state, the Rt. Rev. Theo- 
dore Lyman, Bishop of the Diocese' asked Mrs. 
John Wilkes of Charlotte' to form a Diocesan organiza- 
tion of Woman's Auxiliary branches. At the Diocesan 
Convention in Tarboro in 1882 representatives from six 
branches with a total membership of one hundred were 
organized as the Woman's Auxiliary of the Diocese of 
North Carolina to the Board of Missions. This event 
makes our Diocesan Auxiliary one of twenty-six organized 
in the national Church prior to 1883. 

The six branches present in 1882 were: Charlotte, 
Hillsboro, Asheville, Edenton, Fayetteville and Lenoir. 
Mrs. Vv^ilkes was appointed by the Bishop to serve as 

Seventy-Five Years of Service 

Diocesan Executive Secretary. She served vvith this 
title for fourteen years. Later she' was made honorary 
president and presided over Annual Meetings. 

As long as its title was Woman's Auxiliary to the 
Board of Missions, the work of the Auxiliary was limited 
to the study and promotion of missions in the literal and 
limited use of that v/ord. Work that was done locally 
unless it was for missions was not reported as Auxiliary 
work. It vi^as not until the organization of the national 
Church was changed and we became the Woman's Auxi- 
liary to the Presiding Bishop and the Council that the 
Diocesan president in 1920 announced to the Annual 
Meeting: "We are now the Woman's Auxiliary to the 
Presiding Bishop and the Council. Our work has been 
enlarged to include religious education and social service 
as well 'as missions' ". 

The' first Annual Meeting was in 1883 in St. Peters, 
Charlotte. At this meeting the records show delegates 
from Asheville, Charlotte, Hillsboro, Lev/iston, Lmcoln- 
ton, Pittsboro, Tarboro, and Wilmington. Representa- 
tives were present from Elkin, Winston, Shelby, Raleigh, 
New Bern "and other parishes". The first year's finan- 
cial report showed $20.20 received as a central fund of 
ten cents from each member for administrative expenses, 
cash gifts of $338.04 for missions; boxes valued at 
$228.40 sent to missionaries. 

The Diocese of East Carolina was organized in 1883, 
and the Missionary District of Asheville, later to become 
the Dioce'se of Western North Carolina, was organized 
in 1895. The iVuxiliary branches in these areas grad- 
ually withdrew and formed Diocesan organizations of 
their own. 

The Auxiliary was founded primarily for women but 
a junior department was added in 1890 with Miss Mary 

The Woman's Auxiliary 

Horner of Oxford, as its head. In 1895 a Babie's' Branch 
was formed with Mrs. Walter Smith of Charlotte in 
charge. These departments were under the supervision 
of the Woman's Auxiliary and reported to the Annual 
Meetings until they were placed under a Board of Re- 
ligious Education. 

Miss Mary Horner served as the Second Diocesan 
Secretary for nine years. She was followed by Miss 
Kate Cheshire of Tarboro, whose title was President. 
She was the sister of The Rt. Rev. Joseph Blount 
Cheshire, Bishop of the Diocese'. It is interesting to 
note that in the early days of the Auxihary all rectors 
were active presidents of the Parish branches, making 
appointments of Auxiliary officers. The' Bishop appointed 
all Diocesan officers. Beginning with Miss Cheshire's 
term the women chose the Diocesan officers by election 
and the Bishop then appointed them. This custom 
changed to our present method of electing officers in 
1921 v/ith the election of Mrs. T. W. Bickett of Raleigh, 
as president. 

In 1905 Bishop Cheshire organize'd the Woman's 
Auxiliary branches for Negroes in the Diocese in a sepa- 
rate Convocation, reporting to him. Their leaders were 
Mrs. A. B. Hunter and Mrs. Henry B. Delaney, wife of 
the Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese. 

The women of the Auxiliary showed an inspiring zeal 
for the growth of the Church in the Diocese of North 
Carolina. The preside'nt, Mrs. William A. Hoke, ad- 
dressing the Annual Meeting in 1918 said: 'T should Hke 
to see this association of women put itself on record 
as favoring a movement for the Diocese to assume the 
support of all missionary work within its borders and 
to send a message to the Bishop and the Diocesan Con- 
vention saying that the Woman's Auxiliary stands ready 


Seventy-Five Yeaes of Service 

to help as soon as it is judged wise' to begin such a 

Again in 1920 Mrs. Hoke reported: "Our action in 
contributing $1,138.00 to release the Board of Missions 
(of the National Church) of any obligation last year 
for mission work among white people in this Diocese' 
resulted in the Diocesan Convention assuming the res- 
ponsibility for the future". She then asked that the 
work among Ne'groes also be put on a self supporting 

Until 1918 the Diocesan Convention and the An- 
nual Meeting were held at the same time and place. 
Their growing size made it necessary to separate them. 

In the Year Book of 1920 we find the term United 
Offering, used prior to that time, changed to United 
Thank Offering, in accordance with a resolution passed 
at the previous Triennial Meeting. The United Thank 
Offering treasurer reported at this time a total of 
$5,277.29 as the amount presetited by our Diocese in 
the three preceding years. 

During Mrs. Bickett's term as president, 1921-1924, 
the Diocese was divided into the present eight geogra- 
phical districts. An Interracial Committee was appoint- 
ed to strengthen interracial relationships and to encourage 
the work in the Ne'gro branches. 

In the terms of Mrs. W. H. S. Burgwyn, Mrs. W. L. 
Wall, Mrs. W. W. Way and Mrs. Frank S. Spruill, our 
Diocesan organization was strengthened. We grew in 
a sense of responsibility for the missionary program of 
the Church at home and abroad. 

In 1935 the Negro branches of the Diocese were listed 
in the Year Book as a ninth district. Delegates from 
the Negro Branches were accepted into the Diocesan 
Annual Meeting and their work was carried on under the 


The Woman's Auxiliary 

same constitution and by-laws with the other branches 
of the Diocese. The Negro District was ehminated in 
1954, and all Negro branches became' integrated into 
the geographical districts in which they were located. 

From 1918 to 1930 the women of the Diocese sent 
in their treasures and trinkets of gold, silver and semi- 
precious stones to a Diocesan chairman, Mrs. George 
Alston of Raleigh. Out of this collection six communion 
services were made and given for use in missions. A 
similar collection of gold and silver in 1953-54, with 
Mrs. William L. Steele of Raleigh, as chairman, was 
used to make the alms basin which we now use for the 
presentation of the United Thank Offering at Diocesan 

At the Golden Jubilee meeting of 1932 in Henderson, 
in Miss Rena Clark's term of office, an offering of 
$1,500.00 was given in appreciation of Bishop Cheshire. 
This offering was used to complete the Cheshire Building 
on St. Augustine's campus. 

In 1925 we became a me'mber of the State Legislative 
Council and with the exception of a period of about 
four years we have been a member ever since. 

The depression of the 1930's brought great difficulties 
to the whole church. On March 1, 1933 the bank which 
he'Id our Diocesan funds closed with our total deposit 
of $1,137.47. For a short time there was no money for 
our use in any way. The records indicate no faltering 
of our work. The difficulties were accepted as a chal- 
lenge'. In 1934, the president. Miss Emma Hall said 
in her report to the Annual Meeting: "Our records give 
us a membership of 2,434 women. My friends, there 
isn't anything that many women can't do if they prayer- 
fully try, and the irreparable disaster our Church is 

Seventy-Five Years of Service 

facing makes it necessary for ouir women to stand up 
and be counted." 

This 1934 meeting expressed a determination to have 
our Diocese come to the aid of the National Church in 
its financial crisis. Parishes were urged to give priority 
to payments on their missionary obligations. 

The first Woman's Auxiliary Summer Conference at 
Vade Mecum was held in 1933, with M!rs. John L. Gil- 
mer of Winston-Salem, as director. The conferences in 
the summers since the'n have had an immeasurable in- 
fluence on the life of the Church. They have trained 
our women in v/ays of Christian living and made them 
more effective instruments for the spread of Christ's 

Mrs. U. T. Holmes was installed as president in 1942 
and served for one year. She resigned and went to 
Washington where she and her husband worked in war 
time government service. It then became the task of 
Mrs. E. G. Peoples to lead us in the trying years of 
World War II. Only in 1945 did it become necessary 
to do without our Annual Meeting because of the diffi- 
culties of travel. The Diocesan Executive Board met 
in Wilson in this year and conducted necessary business 
with a worthwhile program carried out. 

We have living withm the Diocese at this time seven 
past presidents. It is interesting to have their view 
points on the life of the Auxiliary during their te'rms 
of office. I pass on to you their comments on the hap- 
penings during their administrations. (As I call their 
names I ask them please to stand). 

In Miss Emma Hall's term we began the' use of a 
sliding scale card to guide the branches in making their 
pledges to the Diocesan budget. Its use until 1947 in- 
spired a degree of famiharity with items in the budget 

The Woman's Auxiliary 

on the part of our members. It was during Miss Hall's 
term that the constitution was changed to provide a 
division of our budget, one-half for projects inside, one- 
half for projects outside our Dioce'se. The Bishop's 
purse became an established item in the budget at this 

In Mrs. William Gordon's term she conducted Quiet 
Days of Prayer and Meditation for the Auxiliary in 
four different places in the Diocese on four consecutive 
days. She also led a Quiet Hour for the Executive 
Board before Annual Meetings. A comprehensive re- 
vision of the constitution and by-laws was made in 1937. 

Mrs. W. S. Holmes tells of the' special emphasis in 
her term on missions, expressed in our interest in Annie 
Cheshire Tucker and Laura Clark in China and Susan 
Smith Chapman in Alaska. We gave $1,000.00 toward 
an endowment for the newly created diocese of Wuhu, 
China, of which The Rt. Rev. Robin Chen was made 
Bishop. We later helped to educate his daughter Grace 
in this country. In 1941, the custom began of electing 
the Diocesan president the year before she assumed 

Mrs. Edward Peoples considers that the chief charac- 
teristic of her administration was one of adapting to 
circumstances during the war years. Out of this came 
at least two interesting things — a team visiting all dis- 
trict meetings and an effort at co-ordinating the work 
of men and women through joint planning. The be- 
ginning of a tradition of most lasting consequence was 
the initiating of Bishop Penick's Quiet Hour for the 
Executive Board before the Annual Meetings. We gave 
with great interest in these years to the education of 
Grace Chen and to St. Mary's School for Indian Girls, 
Springfield, South Dakota. 


Seventy-Five Years of Service 

With Mrs. Henry Bourne's term the' prosperity of the 
time was reflected in substantial increases every year 
in the total amount of our Diocesan budget. At the 
same time the're were large surplus funds at the end of 
each fiscal year. These surplus funds were allocated 
at the following Annual Meeting to projects of special 
appeal to our members. At this time we employed 
Miss Constance Young to serve as a field worker for 
the promotion of the work among the Negro branches. 
Miss Young's work continued until 1954. A Quiet Day 
of Prayer and Meditation in Advetit in each of the eight 
districts was started in this period. In 1948 in The 
Church of the Good Shepherd, Raleigh, The Rt. Rev. 
William J. Gordon was consecrated Bishop of Alaska. 
Our Diocesan Auxiliary gave him his Bishop's Cross. 

Mrs. Edwin F. Lucas recognized that the growth of 
the" Auxihary work required an allocation of duties to 
a second vice-president, who was entrusted with the 
task of editing and having published the Year Book. 
A definite schedule was set up by which Depairtment 
heads should contribute articles to the North Carolina 
Churchman. Mrs. Lucas considers her most vivid mem- 
ory to be that of the consecration of The Rt. Rev. 
Richard H. Baker to be Bishop Co-ad jutor of the Dio- 
cese. It was her privilege to present to him a gift from 
the' 4253 members of the Diocesan Auxiliary. 

In 1954, in Mrs. U. T. Holmes' administration, the 
Diocesan United Thank Offering amounted to $23,027.05, 
the largest annual offering up to that time. The Dio- 
cesan budget had grown to $13,200.00; $1,210.00 was 
iraised from the central fund; the surplus at the end of 
the year was $1,703.95; and special gifts of the branches 
totaled $12,409.58. We placed special emphasis at this 
time on an effort to make our membership on the State 


The Woman's Auxiliary 

Legislative Council constructive and meaningful to all 
the women in the branches. 

The record of Mrs. Leslie Evans' term is not com- 
plete; it will be' a part of some future review. She led 
a delegation of five representatives from our Diocese 
to the Triennial Meeting in Honolulu in 1955. Her 
ability as a presiding officer is indicative' of the way 
in which our women have grown in this respect since 
those earliest years when Bishop Lyman would appoint 
one of the Clergy to preside over tlie' Annual Meeting. 

Throughout our records the truth is plain that our 
work has been done on the foundation of faith in the 
power of God, mediated to us in prayer, Bible study, and 
the saoramental life of the Church. There are reports 
of Prayer Groups, Bible Study Classes, weeks set a- 
side for self denial and prayer, Intercessory Days with 
Corporate Communions, and Quiet Days of Prayer and 
Meditation. This emphasis is best expressed by Miss 
Rena Clark in her president's address: "My desire has 
been to emphasize the spiritual side, not the mechani- 
cal, — to impress upon you the tremendous power de- 
rived from meditation, prayer and Corporate Com- 
munions; to have the Auxiliary a real force in the parish. 
It is not the magnificence of glorious deeds that avail- 
eth, but the magnificence of a glorious spirit". 

The Diocesan Auxiliary has provided leadership be- 
yond the boundaries of the Diocese. Mrs. E. G. Peoples 
has served as president of the Woman's AuxiKary of 
the IV Province; Mrs. Francis Clarkson has served on 
the National Executive Board and is now a Representa- 
tive from the Woman's Auxiliary to the National Coun- 

The termc of Diocesan presidents have been mentioned 
for convenience in telling the story of our accomplish- 


Seventy-Five Years of Service 

ments, but our work has been the fruit of the combined 
efforts of all District and Diocesan officers and those 
members who have prayed fervently, labored diligently 
and given liberally. 

The pages of our^ Year Books contain the story of 
the missionaries who have gone out from this Diocese'. 
Their names are an honor roll of men and women to 
whom we have given our love, our prayers and our 
gifts. Their work has enriched our lives and enabled 
us in some measure to go into all the world and preach 
the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

We conclude this review of seventy-five ye'ars of ser- 
vice with a tribute to our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Edwin 
A. Pe'nick. The strength of our Diocesan Woman's 
Auxiliary, which is noticeable in the life of the National 
Church, is due to a large degree to Bishop Penick's wise 
counsel and guidance. He has encouraged us to make 
de'cisions and to develop initiative; he has given us help 
when we needed it; he has made sure that our work 
was done for the good of the whole church. We recog- 
nize his influence upon us to be that of a gre'at Christian 

I am deeply aware of the fact that some young woman 
probably here today, attending her first or second An- 
nual Meeting, will stand be'foire the Centennial Annual 
Meeting and review one hundred years of service. We 
look at the young women of our Auxiliary and recognize 
their gifts and training and our hearts are' full oi joy 
and hope for the future. We have faith that in the 
years to come the Holy Spirit will continue to use the 
Woman's Auxihary of the Diocese of North Carolina, 
for the spread of Christ's Kingdom.